Stuffed Carnival Squash

I picked up a grapefruit sized carnival squash yesterday while at Trader Joe’s. I’ve never cooked or even had a carnival squash before but, it is a winter squash and similar shape and size to acorn squash so I figured it would be similar in texture and taste as well…and it is. I’m already crazy Thanksgiving food and knew I wanted to bake and stuff this little carnival squash (it was about the size of a very large grapefruit) so I picked up some ground turkey, dried cranberries, and a big bag of kale to go with ingredients I already had back at the Annex.

This is a really simple recipe that can be adapted to whatever your diet restriction might be – dairy free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, low sodium, etc. It is very customizable, you just have to be creative in your stuffing fillings. My stuffing was pretty simple, but so delicious. There was no added salt to this either (except what small amount is in the spice blend I used). The flavors are that of Thanksgiving and perfect to make with leftovers, or if you are just craving a little bit of Thanksgiving throughout the year.


Stuffed Carnival Squash


  • 2 medium carnival squash – cut in half and seeds removed/discarded (you can roast these as well!)
  • 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium, or no sodium added)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons Spiceologist Greek Freak Seasoning, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cabot Cheese – Alpine Cheddar

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Place cut and cleaned squash face down in a baking dish, add about 1/4 inch of water and cover with aluminum foil
  3. Roast squash for 30-45 minutes until fork tender, remove from oven and drain water
  4. In a small pot, bring brown rice and chicken stock to a boil, and cook according to rice specifications
  5. In a saute pan, add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil, add kale and cover for five minutes until kale is tender.
  6. Drain water, and place kale on a paper towel to drain (you want to remove as much excess water that you can)
  7. In the same saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and heat pan to medium heat
  8. Add mushrooms, green onions, and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture, saute until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender
  9. Add mushrooms and green onions to the kale that has been set aside
  10. In the same saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat pan to medium heat
  11. Add ground turkey and remaining 1 tablespoon of seasoning mixture
  12. Brown turkey and add in pine nuts to toast during the last few minutes of cooking
  13. Once the turkey is cooked throughout, add in the cooked brown rice, dried cranberries, kale, mushrooms, and green onions, stir to combine
  14. Remove from heat and stuff cooked squash halves (you may have a little extra filling, but you can use that for another meal or snack)
  15. Top stuffed squash halves with shredded cheese and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes
  16. Remove from oven, and enjoy!


Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters {Good Cook}

IMG_8420_7995I hope you guys were able to attend the Good Cook Twitter Party that happened last Monday evening! There were so awesome prizes given out. The wonderful people behind Good Cook came up with an idea to share Thanksgiving leftover recipes (101+ recipes! Check them out HERE) with all of you, and I am excited to take part in this. I traveled this year for Thanksgiving but still made a delicious meal for Bryan and I. The sad part is, I wasn’t able to travel with any of my awesome goodies from Good Cook so I made sure to bring home some leftovers in order to make this recipe.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love cooking a huge meal for family and friends. Someday when I have a house, my door will be open to those in need. It make me upset to think of those without, especially on days like Thanksgiving. Growing up my family wasn’t rich by any means, but we always had each other. My grandfather was a member of the Knights of Columbus and I remember getting a Thanksgiving meal from them every year. It had the works…a turkey, stuffing, canned goods, etc. They even gave us Christmas presents every year. I will forever be grateful to my grandfather and the KoC for their charity.

Last year for my internship at school, instead of opting to take the traditional route and work in a kitchen, I chose to work with the community service department on campus and spent my days cooking for people in need. My favorite days were those where I got to cook at the Providence Ronald McDonald House and a local soup kitchen in Providence. Food makes people happy and everyone deserves food. In addition to that the community service department each year puts on a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need at the school – it was amazing being part of something like that and was sad I wasn’t able to help out this year.

I was trying to hard to figure out what to make with my leftovers – trying to be creative isn’t easy I tell ya. I finally came up with an idea to do fritters. I had taken home turkey and cranberry sauce (all I could really fit in my carry on). I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese, and an apple so thought I would throw those in as well. These little fritters are mighty tasty and awesome fall flavor to them. Check out the recipe below:

Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters

1/2 cup diced Turkey Meat

1/4 cup shredded or diced Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup diced Apple (granny smith, fuji, etc.)

1 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Pancake batter (both work great)
1/2  teaspoon Xantan Gum (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
2  Eggs (or 1/2 cup Eggbeaters)
6  tablespoons Milk (Cow, Soy, Nut, or Hemp)
1  tablespoon Feiny’s Veggie Rub
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Cranberry Sauce – homemade, canned, etc.


  1. Preheat fryer to 350•F or in a medium skillet add 1/4-1/2 cup oil and heat over medium heat to shallow fry instead of deep frying.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Drop batter by the spoonful and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  7. Do not over crowed the fryer or pan.
  8. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined dish.
  9. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Hold in a warm oven in a Good Cook Brownie Pan or Cookie Sheet at about 200•F if needed.
  12. Serve in a Good Cook Pie Pan lined with parchment paper.
  13. Serve with cranberry sauce.